WITH twinkling Christmas trees lining the paths, the historic towers and terrace beautifully illuminated, and Father Christmas back in his favourite chair by the roaring fire, December is always a truly magical time at Raby Castle

 The Coach Yard is a hive of activity as families choose their Christmas tree to take home, from the impressive selection of Nordmann Fir and Norway Spruce. Browse the beautiful gifts and decorations in the Christmas Shop, and take a break from your shopping over a warm drink and something delicious from the festive menu in the Stables Café.

The Coach Yard, Park and Castle Terrace are open from 10am daily, and will stay open late every Thursday until 7pm between now and Christmas, to make it even easier for you to buy your tree and extra-special gifts.

The Northern Echo: Lots of treats for everyone at the Festive MarketLots of treats for everyone at the Festive Market

Last year’s Christmas Market attracted more than 10,000 visitors and it promises to be even bigger and better this year. Doors open at 10am on Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 December, and entry is FREE. More than 50 stall holders will be at Raby for the weekend, as well as numerous pop-up food stalls, and some of Father Christmas’s reindeer will be making a special visit to Raby with their keepers. Explore the Enchanted Festive Forest in the Riding School (ticket required, see raby.co.uk/Christmas for details and to book, or you can buy on the day).

New for this year; the Castle will be hosting a special Christmas Choral evening on Saturday, December 7, where Northern Consort will present a festive programme with music from over the centuries, to get you in the Christmas mood. This will be Northern Consort’s first visit to Raby, and a rare chance to hear a choir sing within the ancient walls of the Castle. The fire will be lit, the Christmas trees will be decorated, and there will be complimentary drinks on arrival.

The Northern Echo: The beauty of Raby Castle in winterThe beauty of Raby Castle in winter

Raby will be open on New Year’s Day for the first time, so start 2020 with a refreshing New Year’s Day walk.  Entry to the Park is free, but a donation is requested and all gate proceeds are being donated to local charities (suggested donation £1 per person). Take a stroll in the Deer Park, enjoy a warming drink and snack in the Stables Café, and browse the Christmas sale items in the Shop.

Visit www.raby.co.uk/Christmas